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Spate of drownings hits Paris canals

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-07-24

Paris’ fire and rescue services have warned revellers not to swim in the city’s canals, saying three people have lost their lives since the beginning of the summer.

Three people have drowned in Paris’s canal system since the start of the summer, mostly after drinking too much in the hot weather, according to the city’s fire and rescue services.

The deaths have been focused around the Canal Saint Martin in the city’s 10th arrondissement, and in the Canal de l’Ourc that comes into the city from the north.

Paris’s canals are popular meeting spots for young people wanting to picnic and drink outdoors and cool off from the heat.

Fire and rescue Captain Quentin Leroy said his “pompiers” (firefighters) who are also trained as paramedics, were regularly called out to fish drunken revellers out of the canals.

Alcohol to blame?

“They drink too much and think it’s a good idea to jump in to the water without being aware of the danger,” he told France Bleu radio on Tuesday.

“We’re dealing with incidents that happen mostly late at night and with people who are intoxicated.

“They don’t realise that the water can be up to five metres deep, and if they go under it can be extremely difficult to get them out.”

Date created : 2013-07-24

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